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Gout – a bowl of cherries, sir?

Issue 39 Synovium (Summer 2013)

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The notion that consumption of cherries or cherry extract (which contain anthocyanins that have anti-inflammatory properties, and may also increase uric acid excretion) may help prevent episodes of gout has been around for some time. A recent paper from Boston offers early evidence to support this.1 An online ‘case-crossover’ study followed 633 patients with gout for a year. Patients were asked to report acute episodes online and were questioned about their lifestyle with respect to risk factors, medications and cherry/cherry extract consumption in the preceding 2 days. They were asked the same questions at a time when they did not report an acute episode, effectively acting as their own controls. 1247 episodes of acute gout were reported. It was observed that consumption of cherries was associated with a 32% lower risk of acute gout. This increased to 45% if cherry extract was consumed and 75% in those also taking allopurinol. Allopurinol alone reduced the risk by 53%. 

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